Football

Champions League: Rested City welcomes a tired PSG

Different strokes: While PSG boss Pochettino sweats over his team, City manager Guardiola has much leeway.  

A rested line-up faces a tired team with its back to the wall after losing the Champions League semifinal first leg 2-1. According to the tournament’s history books, Paris Saint-Germain has only a 7% chance of reaching its second straight final in a competition it’s desperate to win.

Manchester City, meanwhile, is odds-on to reach its first Champions League final and coach Pep Guardiola had the luxury of resting most of his key players at the weekend with the Premier League almost won.

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino couldn’t rotate his squad too much over the weekend because PSG is still second in the French league and under pressure to keep its title.

Speedy recovery

But he is hopeful that star striker Kylian Mbappe will be available after he sustained a right calf injury in the first leg. PSG’s top scorer with 37 goals this season, Mbappe has shown signs of a speedy recovery.

Pochettino rested midfielder Leandro Paredes and right back Alessandro Florenzi on the weekend, suggesting both will start the semifinal. He used midfield schemer Marco Verratti for only 30 minutes against Lens on Saturday to keep him fresh to face City.

Tonight’s match: City vs PSG, 12.30 a.m. (Wednesday).


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 5:50:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/champions-league-rested-city-welcomes-a-tired-psg/article34474692.ece

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